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Press release

Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years

Primary school goes hatty in tribute to much-loved teacher

Primary school goes hatty in tribute to much-loved teacher

Primary school pupils in Bradford are supporting a national charity’s fundraising event in tribute to a teacher who died of a brain tumour.

Green Lane Primary School has signed up to take part in the Brain Tumour Research charity’s Wear A Hat Day for the second year following the loss of assistant head teacher, Andrew Whitton. Pupils raised £1,300 at last year’s event by going to school in their most flamboyant and outrageous hats, and dancing through the school in a giant conga line. Andrew, a much-loved teacher and colleague at Green Lane Primary, was unable to attend but enjoyed the photos of the event from his bed at Chapel Allerton Hospital.

Andrew never returned to work at Green Lane Primary and just a few months after Wear A Hat Day, pupils were told the devastating news that he had died.

Rachel Allinson, fellow assistant head teacher at the school said: “Wear A Hat Day 2018 was such a hit with the children, they absolutely loved fundraising as it was their own little way of honouring Mr. Whitton. This year will be all the more poignant as Andy is no longer with us.

“We’re a big school, with over 700 pupils, but we are one big family and losing Andy was so sad. We just want to honour him and demonstrate to our pupils that something positive can come from tragedy.”

Andrew, who lived in Apperly Bridge with his husband, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2017. The teacher underwent surgery and treatment but died just over a year later in July 2018.

Matthew Wright, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “It’s touching that the pupils and staff at Green Lane Primary are so committed to fundraising in Andrew’s memory. They have raised an incredible amount so far and we are extremely grateful for their support.

“Andrew’s story reminds us not only that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, but also that less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years. We cannot allow this desperate situation to continue and we hope that Andrew’s story will inspire others to take part in Wear A Hat Day on Friday 29 March 2019.”

Wear A Hat Day has raised over a million pounds since it was launched by Brain Tumour Research 10 years ago and is the culmination of Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March. The big day will see schools, workplaces, families and individuals across the UK fundraising and taking part in fun events to raise awareness of brain tumours and help fund life-saving research.

Funds raised will develop the charity’s network of world-class brain tumour research centres in the UK where scientists are focused in improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

To get involved, or donate, please visit:

Or text HAT to 70660 to donate £5*


* Texts cost £5 plus network charge. Brain Tumour Research receives 100% of your donation. Obtain the bill payer’s permission. Call 01908 867200 with any queries.


For further information, please contact:

Farel James at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or


Notes to Editors

Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours, and we are a leading voice calling for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer.

We are building a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally.

We welcome recent funding announcements for research into brain tumours from the UK Government and Cancer Research UK – £65 million pledged over the next five years. However, this potential funding of £13 million a year comes with a catch – money will only be granted to quality research proposals and, due to the historic lack of investment, there may not be enough of these applications that qualify for grants from this pot.

We want research funding parity with breast cancer and leukaemia. We are calling for a £30-35 million investment every year for research into brain tumours in order to fund the basic research groundwork needed to accelerate the translation from laboratory discoveries into clinical trials and fast-track new therapies for this devastating disease.

The Brain Tumour Research charity is a powerful campaigning organisation and represents the voice of the brain tumour community across the UK. We helped establish and provide the ongoing Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Brain Tumours (APPGBT). We are supporting the crucial APPGBT 2018 Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of brain tumours and will publish their report in the autumn. We are also a key influencer in the development strategy for the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission. 

Key statistics on brain tumours:

  • Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
  • Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
  • Historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours
  • In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • Brain tumours kill more children than leukaemia
  • Brain tumours kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
  • Brain tumours kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
  • Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers

Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website. We can also provide case studies and research expertise for the media.